Archives For Administration

Kyle SappIn a recent study performed by professors at Stanford University and Harvard Business School, it was discovered that several industry-leading companies now favor new job candidates who appear to have the “potential” to succeed in the roles they were applying for over those who had already demonstrated some measure of success in the past in a similar area or field.

The reason for this preference in hiring was due primarily to the belief that in order to remain competitive and relevant in their respective industries, candidates with fresh ideas and a passionate desire to be trained and developed were far more valuable than candidates already trained and perhaps heavily devoted to previous achievements and older methods of getting things done.

However, here at Vanderbloemen Search Group, where we partner with local churches and organizations all over the nation to assist them in their searches for new staff hires, it is interesting to see how many churches – regardless of their differences in vision, mission, size, or denomination – tend to rely more on education or “previous experience,” rather than a candidate’s untapped potential and possible contributions if hired.

Whether we as ministry leaders admit…

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BlueprintHave you ever visited a construction site before the walls are finished and the dry wall is put into place?  If so, you’ve probably noticed the myriad of wires and pipes woven into the hidden recesses of the building.  These items provide ventilation, internet connectivity, plumbing, security system monitoring, and much more.

We don’t think about those items in the buildings we work and worship in until they aren’t functioning properly.  In a similar fashion, the management side of ministry isn’t often noticed unless it’s not working well.  For example, as a congregation grows, a system that used to be effective may now be insufficient.  Just think about trying to use the same A/C unit from your home in the church building – that’s definitely not going to keep the place cool.

Are your current systems and processes effectively supporting your congregation and church leadership? If so, are they also scalable to support a growing congregation? If you couldn’t answer “yes” to both questions, consider using the following process with your team:

First, evaluate the following management areas:

  • Financial Processes & Controls
  • Volunteer management
  • HR processes including hiring and staff development
  • Policies & procedures – safety / security,…

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Deadlines

Right now many deadlines are pressing in on me. Has that ever happened to you? I remember when the only pressure I had was that of sermon preparation for Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. While those deadlines were pressing in on me weekly and it was real, it seems the longer I am in ministry the more deadlines I face.

I have the weekly deadline of Sunday sermon preparation but if I speak away from my church during the week, then responsibilities increase. Three weeks ago I preached on Sunday morning, spoke in Alabama on Tuesday, spoke in Missouri on Thursday, hosted and spoke at our Men’s Conference on Friday and Saturday, went through Sunday, and then left for the Holy Land on Monday.

Most of the way to Israel, I was working on church matters and preparing to speak to our tour group while in the Holy Land. While on the way home, sermon preparation was raging again and additional writing assignments, both for our church and others that serve the greater body of Christ, were looming. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.

Every pastor and leader I know experiences the pressure and inevitability…

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Not HiringIn most cases, your church’s hiring practices will have major ramifications that reach beyond your awareness. It’s not just a matter of whether a candidate can do the job or not. The real impact of your hiring decision will be seen in:

  • How they interact with your church members
  • Whether they make the people around them better or bitter
  • The amount they “buy into” the overall mission of your church
  • How passionate and loyal they are toward the people they serve

There are plenty of basic “measurable” by which to judge a potential staff member such as education, experience, and skills. But those sort of issues only deal with the science of hiring –not the art.

The art of hiring requires more observation and interaction. It is hard work to be sure –but well worth it.

Some key questions that a church should ask when hiring staff are:

Will this person fit in our church’s culture? It has been said that culture trumps strategy every time. This doesn’t mean that the new hire must come from the same culture (He doesn’t have to be a city slicker to minister in NYC), but instead that he can fit in that…

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The OaksWe might as well admit it. We all judge a book by its cover. But in our defense, before we’ve opened the book, the cover is all we have.

Facades serve as an invitation. The path leading up to your front door is an invitation to come inside and have a look. If the cover, or the front door, or the outside of the restaurant looks inviting, we might venture closer.

If not, then we probably won’t. It’s human nature.

We know this is true about our churches as well. We spend time and money on landscaping for this very purpose. That’s why we have greeters, and people directing traffic, and why we care about what the sanctuary looks like. We know people judge a book by its cover—and don’t want them to walk away before they start reading.

Now comes a question: what does your website look like? 

Statistics tell us that people will judge your church by its website. Is it just a plain page with bare-bones information? Is it the same one someone’s uncle made for free 10 years ago? It is flashy and packed with information? Is it inviting?

We spend time and money…

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MoneyAs a Pastor, I’m well aware of how many people have the assumption that “all Pastors want to talk about is money.” The funny thing is, after twenty years in ministry and communicating regularly with thousands of pastors, I can firmly assert that talking about money is one of our least favorite things to do, especially in our culture where personal finances are very… personal.

But the Apostle Paul wrote to a younger Pastor in Ephesus named Timothy once and told him to “Teach and urge these things… there is great gain in godliness with contentment… but those who desire to be rich fall into temptation… for the love of money is the root of all evil… As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches.” (1 Timothy 5:2-17 ESV)

In other words, good doctrine (which literally means “teaching”) demands that we address the issue of money. Here are several reasons why the church NEEDS to talk about finances…

  • Money is a gift from God to be managed for a season, not an earned commodity to be consumed…

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Never Persuasive When AbrasiveYou can’t lead a church, evangelize a community, or do business without communicating. And the better you become as a communicator, the better you become as a leader, and the better the team you lead becomes as a result. That means to get ahead you’ve got to continually work on your communication skills. Probably 75% of the problems we face, at home, at work, and at church are related to poor communication with family members, church members, your clients, or your coworkers. Poor communication is also the most frequently mentioned problem in marriage counseling.

Here are three things you must give up in order to grow as a communicator. As you lead…

Give Up Your Assumptions

We get into trouble when we start assuming we understand the meaning of what people say to us. The truth is – everything you hear goes through a filter. Your filter is determined by your past experiences and your unique personality. You may not be hearing what they are really saying. Therefore, it’s smart (and safe) to ask for clarification. There are 6 possible messages every…

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Controlling Leaders

I have always been fascinated with leadership. I read leadership blogs, buy leadership books and watch leadership videos. I love the leadership concepts the church has leveraged over the past 30 years for Kingdom effectiveness. Lately, however, I have been struggling with the disconnect I see between some of the leadership models in the church and the leadership model Jesus presented. This struggle was brought to the forefront by Simon Sinak’s latest TED Talk. (I highly recommend watching the 12 minute talk at the end of this post). What struck me was that Sinak seems to better define biblical leadership than many pastors, including myself. To quote Jesus’ brother James out of context, “These things ought not be.”

In response to a disagreement among his followers over who should be on his Executive Team, Jesus sums the model of leadership Sinek proposes this way:

But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be…

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Money Truck

Pastor, let me ask you a very important question: What is your strategy to meet your Ministry Budget this summer? Do you want to meet it? Do you expect to meet it?

I want to share with you an idea we have practiced for years. With the exception of two years during the last twenty or so, we have been able to meet our Ministry Budget goal during the summer. This simple strategy can be used in any size church and result in success.

Step 1: Determine your Summer Program of Giving goal

What is the weekly budget requirement for your church? Determine this over a fifty-two week year. Then, multiply this weekly budget requirement goal by the number of weeks during the summer. For example, we always use the Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. This is usually fifteen weeks.

Therefore, for simplicity, let’s imagine your weekly budget goal is $10,000. If you multiply this goal of $10,000 per week by the fifteen weeks from Memorial Day Sunday through Labor Day Sunday, your Summer Program of Giving goal for the summer would be $150,000.

Step 2: Effectively communicate the Summer Program…

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Clearview Church

I find great joy in hearing the stories of churches that had successful building programs. By “successful” I do not mean just the adequate funding and completion of the project. I mean that the church continues to have a momentum in ministry, outward focus, and internal unity.

Unfortunately, a number of churches complete a building program only to see more challenges than opportunities. They often become discouraged and disillusioned. The building program was perceived to be a significant answer to their needs. Instead the church finds itself with declining ministries and attendance, and with greater debt and facilities to underwrite.

So what is the difference between the successful and unsuccessful churches in building programs? Why do some thrive in the aftermath, while others hit difficult times? Allow me to offer six keys to successful programs.

  1. Intensive and extensive prayer preceded the decision to build. I recently spoke to a pastor whose church went through a season of prayer culminating in a 24-hour prayer vigil. All of this prayer momentum took place before the church made any commitment to build.
  2. The ministry need for the building was clear and articulated. Some churches are able to…

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